Few places loom as large in the race for the White House as here in Pinellas County, the largest swing county in the ultimate swing state. And polls show that many people will have the pandemic and its public health and economic consequences on their minds when they cast their votes.
The Trump administration is primed to approve a plan designed to help lower costs of some prescription drugs by allowing states to import them from Canada. The announcement could come before Election Day, and Florida appears to be in line to go first.
KHN Midwest editor and correspondent Laura Ungar appeared on Spectrum News and Fox 35 Orlando to discuss cuts to Florida’s public health system that have hampered its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
As the nation hollowed out its public health infrastructure for decades, staffing and funding fell faster and further in Florida. Then the coronavirus ran roughshod, infecting more than half a million people and killing thousands.
Although it is still early, available numbers provide backup.
Skeptics say the lack of enforceable federal safety standards geared toward the coronavirus allows these employers to prioritize the harvest over worker safety.
With COVID-19 tests bogged down in backlogs, some states that relied on private laboratories, such as Quest Diagnostics, are trying to adapt as caseloads rise.
Health care workers on the front lines of the COVID crisis have spent exhausting months working and self-quarantining off-duty to keep from infecting others, including their families. Encountering people who indignantly refuse face coverings can feel like a slap in the face.
The coronavirus has forced drug rehabilitation centers to scale back operations or temporarily close, leaving people who have another potentially deadly disease — addiction — with fewer opportunities for help.
The shortages are so dire that nursing homes and other health centers are going to extraordinary lengths for masks, gowns and essential materials.